Argentina’s midfield duo, Rodrigo De Paul and Leandro Paredes, face a potential end to their unique pre-match superstition following their recent defeat to Uruguay. The national team, led by Lionel Scaloni, experienced their first loss since the inaugural game of the 2022 World Cup, succumbing 2-0 to Uruguay in the South American qualifiers for the 2026 tournament in the USA and Canada.
Goals from Ronald Araujo and Darwin Nunez secured victory for Marcelo Bielsa’s side, elevating them to second place in the 10-team qualifying standings. Despite the defeat, Lionel Messi showcased an impressive performance, enduring persistent challenges from Uruguay players throughout the match, with a post-game compilation of his play going viral.
Unfortunately, Messi couldn’t prevent Argentina’s loss, and this setback might have consequences for teammates De Paul and Paredes. The pair had developed a distinctive pre-match ritual, initiated during the World Cup in Qatar, where they would enter the field before their teammates to indulge in sweets on the pitch.
Given Argentina’s triumph in the previous World Cup, defeating France in the final on penalties, it’s understandable that De Paul and Paredes sought to maintain the tradition. However, with their first defeat in a year, they might need to reconsider or devise a new pre-match routine. De Paul also found himself unintentionally involved in a verbal exchange during the match when PSG and Uruguay midfielder Manuel Ugarte referred to him as ‘Messi’s suck up.’
After the game, Messi expressed his frustration, stating, “I’d rather not say what I’m thinking, but the [younger Uruguayans] need to learn. They have a good group, but they need to learn from the veterans how to respect. These games are always intense but very respectful, so they have to learn a little.”